Vidalia Onion Plants Progressing Amid Dry Weather

Jim Rogers Onion

By Clint Thompson

The current dry spell is having a minimal impact on the growth of this season’s Vidalia onion crop. All seedbeds are grown under irrigation pivots, according to Chris Tyson, University of Georgia Extension area onion agent.

Vidalia onion plants

“All our seedbeds are under irrigation so we can give them the water they need. There is something about rainwater when they get some rain on them, it seems to make them look better. We’ve been hanging in there (though) running our irrigation systems,” Tyson said.

Vidalia onions are produced in Southeast Georgia. The region collected some rainfall last week, which is reflected in Thursday’s release of the U.S. Drought Monitor. But before the showers, the area was in dire need of rain.

“We were really dry. There wasn’t really any topsoil moisture to speak of,” Tyson said. “(But) they are so small right now, they don’t need a lot of water. Their demand is not as critical as it would be when they’re making bulbs and getting ready for harvest. The transplants that we’re growing right now, they’re very small and have shallow root system. We have to water them probably more frequently than other crops because they don’t have very much of a root system yet. Sometimes it’s better when we can give them the water they need with our pivots.”

Tyson estimated that a few farmers will start transplanting their onion crop during the first week of November. The majority will begin around Nov. 10-15.